The kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard (like the murder of George Floyd) dominate the news and social media as it rightly sparks upset, the telling of personal stories, outrage, and calls for things to change. When you have a specific manifestation of any discrimination the calls to action sometimes overrides the deep-seated causes and the entrenched structures that make real change hard. It’s important to step back and take a wider view.
Many of us try and fight sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia in relation to our own identity and lived experience. Personally, I think all discrimination shares the same roots, whatever someone’s personal experience. It is the same virus: abuse of power by white patriarchy.
all discrimination shares the same roots, whatever someone’s personal experience. It is the same virus: abuse of power by white patriarchy.
I wonder if our desire to fight discrimination mainly through our personal lens is to do with our individual capacity to empathise or acknowledge our own unconscious bias on other issues. It’s perhaps natural and obvious that I would find it easier to fight racism, as someone who has experienced it, than to empathise with other forms of discrimination and perhaps to challenge my own unconscious prejudices on some of these other issues.
Until everyone who is fighting discrimination unites to acknowledge the parallels and fight the roots, we are all just fighting for a fairer share of a rotten and infected pie as one tragic event knocks another off the political and media agendas.
“The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house”.